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Upgrading - Renovating your Living Space Part I - Trends
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Holmes on Homes, Trading Spaces, House Hunters – Renovations, Decked Out, Property Virgins, This Old House, Property Bothers, Rehab Addict, Save us from our House, Love It or List It, Fixer Upper, House Hunters...

Currently, there are more than 36 home renovation reality shows available for your TV viewing pleasure. Just watching all of these shows would be a full time job - leaving no time to actually do any renovations!

Most of these shows do offer great renovation ideas including our most famous Canadian Handy Man, Mike Holmes. I think Mike is by far the best at showing us what to do and what not to do. He tells it like it is and he shows his frustration and displeasure about shoddy workmanship.

Since the average home renovation in this country costs about 15 thousand dollars, there's a lot of money involved-from contractors and sub trades, to paint, tools, flooring, lumber, hardware, appliances and a ton of other building supplies.

Whether you are investing in renovations, updates or upgrades to add value or to add comfort to your home there a wide choice of honest and ethical companies that will deliver high quality products and workmanship.

Before moving forward with any project, you obviously need to be clear on why are you renovating?
Renovations increase the value of your home, but you need to think about why you’re doing it. Is it to improve your home so you can enjoy living in it, to save money by adding energy efficient windows or insulation, or is it to make money?

A lot of people renovate for profit-and this can be a big mistake, because they often spend their budget on things like finishes and decor, and don’t even think about what holds their house together, and keeps it dry, safe and standing.

Nobody wants their renovation to bring the value of their house down. Obviously you want your house to look good, and later when it comes time to sell it, it’s nice to make a profit. But, if you’re renovating with an eye to selling, make sure you aren't just covering up problems. Fix what needs to be done right, take care of the basics like plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and insulation. Make the house better than it was when you bought it. Then once you’ve done that, make it look good.

Exterior projects make up almost 40% of renovations and can include jobs like roofing, deck or patio installation, siding, foundation work, landscaping, fencing, garage building, exterior painting, sidewalk or driveway work, and gutters or eaves trough improvements.

With some renovations, you’ll make back what you spend on the upgrades, plus a profit when you go to sell. But that’s assuming the work is done well by a skilled contractor, using quality workmanship and materials. A bad job might reduce the value of your home.

Practical renovations are smart and the best to invest in for the long term.

The best reason to renovate your home is to enjoy it. Your home is not just an investment. Even if you are renovating to sell, use quality materials and hire professional skilled people to do the job right.

In this three part series, we have consulted the best of the best to provide information and suggestions on the topic of the month. This month, the first in the series takes a look at trends, and the following companies have provided information, opinions and suggestions.

To read what they have to say just click on the link (below) of the company you want to read about.